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Lubbock Radio Legend Lew Dee Passes Away

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Lubbock radio legend, Lew Dee (pictured above right), born Lewis Thomas D’Elia, passed away this morning at the age of 79 after a battle with cancer.

Lew was born in January 7, 1932 in Hell’s Kitchen in Brooklyn, New York and made his way to Lubbock by being stationed at Reese Air Force Base with the United States Air Force.

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After getting out of the Air Force, Lew started his broadcasting career with the “Cuckoo Network” of radio stations owned by R.B. McAlister in Post and Littlefield. He was a disk jockey (DJ) and sold advertising for the stations.

After a short period of time, Lew then moved up to Lubbock to KSEL-AM (current AM 950) and KSEL Television (current KAMC 28), also owned by R.B. McAlister. During his time at KSEL Lew was a radio and television personality and was eventually promoted to the position of sales manager at KSEL-AM & TV.

In 1971, Lew left KSEL and helped formed KEND Radio (currently KDAV-AM 1590, originally KCBD-AM) with Paul R. Beane and other partners. At KEND, and for the rest of his on-air career, Lew would host morning shows with his wife Diana.

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The photo you see at the left is a publicity photo for KEND in 1978 with Lew Dee and Diana.

In 1989, Lew and Diana moved over to KOOL 98 (KKCL-FM 98.1) where they hosted the KOOL morning show until February 2002. Also from 1989-1996, Lew was the general manager for KOOL 98 and Diana, the sales manager.

In March 2002, Lew, Diana and Johnny May left KOOL 98 and joined RAMAR Communications. Lew and Diana spearheaded the format change on 104.3 FM from rhythmic CHR to an Adult Contemporary format branded as Stars 104.3.

After a few years, Lew and Diana ended their daily morning show, but stayed visible as the voices of on-air commercials for RAMAR Communications and sold advertising for RAMAR’s radio and television properties.

Lew, Diana and Johnny May were all regulars at the southwest Lubbock restaurant Abuelo’s and the picture at the beginning of this article was taken at Abuelo’s.

This story will be updated when information about Lew Dee’s memorial service is publicized.

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